On Monday, October 16,2023, while dozens of Jamaicans were at Kings House receiving their National Honours. Carl Edwards, leader of Live Wyya Band was vetting their tribute to another band leader.
The icon was Ibo Cooper, founder, songwriter and keyboard player of Third World Band. He died following a brief illness, Thursday, October 12, 2023.
Ibo had received-some 21 years ago, the Order of Distinction (OD), for his contribution to the music industry.
Carl Edwards, who claims Third World Band is their mentor sends this fitting tribute.
“Ibo Cooper was very near and dear to Live Wyya’s heart and being. He was inspirational in every sense of the word.
“Our first experience in meeting him was at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. And, he was so inspiring.”
“He (Cooper) dropped knowledge that to this day we are still using.
In 2004, when Live Wyya won Battle of the Bands, Cooper was the main judge, and it was truly a great honour, because it felt like the knowledge he instilled in us, came full circle and he had witnessed that moment.
Third World Band is our mentor; we admire everything musically about them over the years and still do.
Zion awaits your greatness Ibo. you are a legend. RIP.”
Born in Clarendon, January 14, 1952, Michael “Ibo” Cooper was a member of the Inner Circle Band before forming Third World Band in 1973. The band quickly rose to fame releasing “Railroad Track” in 1974, and assisting the Jackson Five siblings who performed at the National Stadium.
However, their biggest hit was the album “96 degrees in The Shade” which took them international.
Ibo left the band in 1997, and taught for years at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts .
He has received a Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica in 2004 ; an Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government in 2005 and the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.